Labor Senator and vocal champion of the national broadband network, Stephen Conroy, formally tendered his plans to resign from parliament late last night.
The 20-year stalwart of the upper house quietly tabled his resignation speech without delivering it to parliament, ending a period of service that saw him fill the roles of Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on Digital Productivity.
His resignation will take effect on 30 September.
After thanking his Labor and union movement colleagues, Senator Conroy indicated that his time in the public spotlight had taken a toll on his family and this had driven him to “go out on top” - as captain of the parliamentary soccer team.
He said his young daughter Isabella “increasingly misses me when I can't be at soccer training or a match. She would love me to attend at least one assembly a year and be there when she gets an award”.
“When you resent being in Canberra because you are missing your daughter's soccer training it is time to retire from the Federal Parliament,” he explained.
“It's time for me to hang up my boots as captain of the parliamentary soccer team and spend more time teaching Isabella soccer tricks.”
In his time in government Conroy assumed the role as the face and champion of Labor’s fibre-to-the-premises NBN.
Last night he said the broadband network “will remain my greatest contribution” to the nation.
“There is nothing more fulfilling and no greater privilege than to be in government and conceive, create and implement a strategy to deliver the economic and social opportunities that technology brings and reach all Australians wherever they live and whatever their backgrounds.”
He has continued to be a vocal inquisitor during often heated Senate estimates hearings on the matter.
However more recently the opposition Senator has been dragged back into the controversial side of the broadband project, when federal police officers raided his office as part of an investigation into leaked NBN Co corporate documents.
The pre-election raids - which Conroy called “illegal” prompted him to call on NBN Co chair Ziggy Switkowski to resign.
More to come